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Profiles in Giving

Michael Yudell, A90

About him

Michael Yudell, A90, is a former student and friend of the late Professor Gerald R. Gill. Yudell, who got his Ph.D. in history from Columbia University and now teaches at Drexel University in Philadelphia, says Gill inspired him to become a historian. He says of Gill, "I saw the way he lived his life and I wanted to be like him."

About his gift

After Gill passed away in 2007, Yudell sent a letter to his classmates, encouraging them to remember Gill's passion, the remarkable professor and mentor he was, and the extraordinary impact he had on everybody's life. His classmates responded with $20,000 toward the Gerald R. Gill Fund, established in 2007 with the goal of creating a professorship in Gill's name to ensure that his legacy lives on at Tufts.

"With this letter, I hope I raised awareness of who Gerry was and what he meant to all of us," says Yudell. "Through an endowed professorship, we can highlight Gill's scholarly and humane legacy at the university. For all that he gave us, it is the least we can do to honor this extraordinary man," Yudell says.

A special memory

Years ago, Yudell met Gill at a Red Sox-Yankees game. "While Gerald and I sat there-two New Yorkers like fish out of water at Fenway-we quietly rooted under our breath for a Red Sox loss, caught up on life, and shared a few laughs," Yudell says. "He made me, and all of those who knew him, better people. He was a gifted teacher, scholar, and friend for whom I will always have a very special place in my heart."